Staf unites care-experienced young people in Scotland and the professionals who support them. The charity and its members focus on equality in:

  • social inclusion
  • health and wellbeing
  • employment and education
  • justice and opportunity

How it started

Staf was established in 1998 in response to the overwhelming concerns that frontline practitioners and managers had about the major difficulties care-experienced young people faced during their fragile transition to adulthood and independent living.

The introduction of a membership subscription scheme in 2002 enabled Staf to bring together organisations, practitioners and managers from across the public, private and third sectors to work together to improve the life chances for all of Scotland's care-experienced young people.

- Find out more about becoming a member

What we do

We ensure that young people and those who support them have their voices heard and are directly involved in creating change. We've already made a significant impact on improving the level of support for young people leaving care in Scotland, both at local and national levels. This is the result of bringing people together to share good practice and political influence; encouraging collaboration, making connections and working together; and creating an environment for learning and development.

At Staf, we have the expertise, passion and enthusiasm to support our members and help them ensure the young people they support live happy and successful lives, because every care leaver deserves the same opportunities as any other young person in Scotland. Strong and supportive relationships are essential for a young person's development: that is why we put relationships at the centre of all we do.

- Learn and share at one of our events

There are four key things that young people look for from a carer. These are:

  • Love
  • Support
  • Trust
  • Honesty

(The Voices, Listen...Can You Hear Their Voices?, August 2016, p16)

Our aim

The focus of all our work is ensuring that young people go on to live happy and successful lives on their own terms, the foundation of which is long-term, sustainable relationships; everyone needs a mum or a dad.

"Long-term sustainable relationships help to establish a feeling of belonging which - in the long term - actually [enable care-experienced young people] to be independent and move on with their lives. [...] The weight of the evidence, from all quarters, convinces us that the relationships with people who care for and about children are the golden thread in children's lives..."
Scottish Government Staying Put Scotland, October 2013, pp14-15

There is often a gap between the relationship that young people want and need and the relationship that can be offered by the key people in their lives; we're here to change that because we truly believe that relationships matter.

Join us today